New Bedding Line Boasts Recycled Materials

(NewsUSA) – Global interest in socially conscious, eco-friendly products has exploded over the last two decades. Now it extends not only to paper and packaging, but to high-end sectors such as clothing and home goods.Enter the REKOOP collection, a line of bedding products made of recycled material, including sheets, pillowcases, and pillow shams, made its debut in the spring of 2018 at Home Fashions Week in New York.REKOOP was launched by GHCL Limited, an India-based textile company, to appeal to consumers seeking socially responsible home goods that are comfortable and functional as well. Market data suggest that Millennial shoppers in particular want to know the origins and environmental impact of the products they purchase."With all things being equal or even nearly equal, consumer preferences today will be skewed towards products that are eco-friendly and recyclable," says Manu Kapur, president and CEO of GHCL Home Textiles."Consumers will continue to support and buy products like REKOOP that are good for the environment with the understanding that the materials used to make those products are renewable, re-useable and recyclable," he says.The REKOOP collection contains the most eco-friendly recycled PET fiber called "Recron Green Gold," which is manufactured by the Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Limited, from post-consumer PET bottles. The REKOOP manufacturing process results in fewer greenhouse gases and a smaller carbon footprint than the production of traditional polyester bedding. Recycling the PET also reduces landfill space and crude oil consumption.The recycled material used in REKOOP is source-verified thanks to unique technology from Applied DNA Sciences in Stony Brook, New York, a company that uses a platform known as CertainT to embed molecular tags in fibers, PET fibers in this case, so that they can be traced throughout the fabric manufacturing process."Many raw materials look the same, so it’s a big advantage to have your own molecular tag on your product and have it verified through forensic testing and tracking," says MeiLin Wan, vice president, textile sales at Applied DNA Science.GHCL is one of India’s leading home textile makers, and handles the full manufacturing process for REKOOP, starting with spinning the fiber to be used in the products, followed by weaving, dyeing, and printing the finished sheets, duvets, and other items for export to countries globally.The company received the Golden Peacock Awards for Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance in 2017 and for National Quality in 2018. It has also been recognized as India’s 67th "Great Place to Work" across sectors in 2018.For more information on the REKOOP collection, visit https://rekoop.pet/.

Napa Valley Holiday Traditions from Marc Mondavi and Family

(NewsUSA) – Holiday entertaining can be stressful. What to cook? Which wines pair well? But with a few tools and a bit of planning, you can breeze through the holiday season like an entertaining pro.Janice Mondavi knows this all too well. As a mother of four girls and a member of the iconic C. Mondavi wine family, Janice hosts her large, extended family throughout the holidays. She gets through the season by keeping some go-to recipes on hand and a few quick tips for the perfect wine pairing.Janice’s go-to’s include her favorite roast recipes and easy, no-nonsense wine pairings. She finds that roasts and steak recipes feed her large family without breaking the bank. Her favorite holiday recipe is the family’s "Steak Sliced Thin" New York Strip Steak recipe that was created by Rosa Mondavi, the wife of Cesare and the family matriarch who started the Mondavi wine legacy in the Napa Valley in 1943.When pairing wines, Janice says it’s all about pairing similar flavors together. For instance, Janice pairs sweet wines with spicy foods, simple fare with lighter wines, and bold flavors together. She also points out that rules are made to be broken, even with wine."Wine is simply a matter of personal preference and sometimes it’s fun to mix things up, especially during the holidays," she adds. Some people prefer to pair opposite flavors together, and will pair a dry, acidic wine with a rich creamy sauce.Janice loves a good cheat sheet for pairing wines and that’s why she and her team at CK Mondavi and Family wines came up with this handy wine-pairing sheet, "The CK Mondavi and Family Wine Pairing Made Simple," which can be downloaded here: www.ckmondavi.com/ckm-pairings.This Christmas, Janice will be making the Steak Sliced Thin Recipe for her family. "It is one of my husband Marc’s favorite dishes, is easy to make and everyone enjoys it," she says. Janice will pair this recipe with CK Mondavi and Family Cabernet Sauvignon or Scarlet Five (their red blend).Grandma Rosa’s Mondavi Steak Sliced Thin RecipeIngredients:- 1-2 lb New York strip sliced by your butcher to 1/2" or thinner- 6-8 Garlic Cloves- 1/4 cup CK Mondavi and Family Sauvignon Blanc- 2 tbsp. Olive Oil- Steak seasoning (The Mondavis prefer a simple seasoning of oregano, salt and pepper)Directions:Pound both sides of the steak slices until they are somewhat thin. Season each slice with oregano, salt and pepper (or your steak seasoning of choice). Set aside. Slice the cloves of garlic. Heat 2 tbsp. of the olive oil in a frying pan on very low heat. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute or so. Be sure not to burn the garlic slices. Add the wine and cook until the wine has evaporated. Turn up the heat to medium and begin to sauté the steak slices for about 2 minutes on each side for medium rare, a bit longer if you like your meat well done. Place on a serving platter and pour the excess sauce on top. Serve hot with any of your favorite side dishes.Meet the Mondavis: Click here to view video.

Do Your Health Insurance Homework

(NewsUSA) – Fall means not only shorter days and colorful leaves, but also the season of open enrollment for health insurance for most Americans.Employer-sponsored benefits can be confusing, and a combination of doing some homework and seeking expert advice can help most individuals make the most of the plans available to them.Confusion over health insurance remains a common problem; approximately 76 percent of American workers reported that they did not understand some elements of their health insurance, according to the 2017 Aflac WorkForces Report conducted by Lightspeed GMI on behalf of insurance provider Aflac.Areas of concern reported by survey respondents included deductibles, copays, and the determination of whether a health care provider is in-network.Consumer education is the key to making smart decisions during open enrollment periods, according to Aflac, which offers three top tips for maximizing health insurance.-Be prepared. Before your employer opens enrollment for health insurance this year, take the time to look into all the available options. Data from Aflac’s consumer survey showed that 83 percent of workers spent less than an hour researching potential health insurance benefit plans, and 20 percent of those did no research on health insurance plans at all.-Be advised. Get expert help. The Aflac survey found that approximately two-thirds (67 percent) of workers said they were confident that they understood all aspects of the health insurance plans for which they signed up.However, only 24 percent said they understood everything when they were questioned in more detail about deductibles, copays, and in-network providers.-Be enhanced. Consider additional voluntary insurance coverage to help fill the holes in employer-offered plans. Approximately 81 percent of employees report a need for voluntary insurance benefits, according to the Aflac survey, and 90 percent say that they view voluntary insurance as essential to a complete health benefits program.Some examples of voluntary insurance include not only health insurance, but also accident insurance, insurance for critical illness, and insurance for hospital stays, which may not be covered by an employer’s insurance. Voluntary insurance also can be used to help with expenses associated with gas, groceries, and rent for individuals with illnesses or injuries that prevent them from working.Visit Aflac.com for more information about options for health benefits and how to choose a benefits plan.

PepsiCo Recycling Helps College Students Take Sustainability to the Next Level

College campuses are not just about education: they want to encourage students to make a difference. And PepsiCo wants to help make that happen.

According to PepsiCo, “Simple acts lead to a big impact.” The company, for the second year in a row, is assisting colleges and universities in reaching their environmental goals by giving students the chance to win up to $10,000 in funding to implement new sustainability initiatives or improve existing efforts in their communities.

The Zero Impact Fund (ZIF), which launched in August 2016, provides cash prizes for college and university sustainability projects related to energy, waste or water that aim to achieve long-term environmental, economic and social impacts.

CME Group, 4-H Steer Youth Toward Agricultural Industry for Fifth Straight Year

(NewsUSA) – CME Group has once again partnered with National 4-H Council to sponsor the interactive and educational Commodity Carnival, which will visit 120 state and county fairs in the Midwest during the summer and fall of 2017. The Commodity Carnival and companion app, Risk Ranch, give players a fun and engaging way to learn about agriculture by bringing a steer to market."CME Group’s roots are in agriculture, and we are pleased to provide this program for the fifth straight year," says CME Group Chairman and CEO Terry Duffy."We look forward to helping the next generation of farmers, ranchers, and agribusiness leaders to better understand the concept of risk management in a fun way and from a young age."The participants in the Commodity Carnival will learn how to grow and bring a "steer" to market. If they are successful, they can win a blue ribbon while improving their literacy in agriculture science and basic economics."Our partnership with CME Group has allowed us to instill fundamentals of risk management and basic economics with young people throughout fair season and beyond," says National 4-H Council President and CEO Jennifer Sirangelo."This program helps students develop problem solving, communication and technical competence skills, and those are essential for both positive youth development and preparation for the workforce."The Commodity Carnival’s entertainment and education is not limited just to the fairgrounds. Kids can continue to learn about real-life cost and risk management through the award-winning agriculture app developed by CME Group, "Risk Ranch." This enjoyable and informative game can be downloaded free of charge either online or on your mobile device.To learn more about Risk Ranch or see a list of the 120 fairs participating this fair season, visit www.cmegroup.com/4hcarnival.

Viscount Mining Corp: Company to Watch In 2017

(NewsUSA) – Back in the late 1800s, hordes of miners descended on Colorado’s Custer County to seek their fortunes. They staked nearly 100 individual claims, and mined large amounts of top-grade silver and gold from the ground. The area even acquired a revealing name: the Hardscrabble Silver District.The mines fell on hard times by the 1920s. But there was plenty of ore left in the ground. When one of the properties in the District, called Silver Cliff, was explored using modern techniques in the 1980s, geologists found some of the highest levels of silver ore ever measured in North America — and estimated that the area contained 40 million to 50 million ounces of silver. That would be worth more than three-quarters of a billion dollars at today’s prices.Still, the Silver Cliff property and others like it remained untapped — until now.A North America-based company called Viscount Mining Corp (TSXV: VML, OTCQB:VLMGF) has realized the potential of both Silver Cliff and a similar historical mining property in Nevada called Cherry Creek. As he explains in a recent interview with Stock-Sector, Viscount CEO Jim MacKenzie did the painstaking work of acquiring the properties. Then he oversaw a new round of geological exploration in which new test holes were paired with the holes drilled in the previous testing at Silver Cliff.The results from this new exploration have now come in — and they are extremely impressive. The data shows up to 67 ounces of silver per ton of ore at Silver Cliff, confirming the great promise shown in the earlier results. Viscount is now planning the next phase of drilling to verify and expand the resource, looking towards full-scale mine operations.Meanwhile, the company is also moving ahead with its Cherry Creek property in Nevada, which includes more than 400 past claims and more than 20 mines that produce silver, gold, and tungsten."With these two valuable mining properties, I think that Viscount Mining Corp. is ideally positioned to take advantage of the long-term demand for — and rising prices of — silver and gold,"says professional geologist Howard Lahti, Ph.D, Viscount’s Vice President of Exploration. 

Entrepreneurs Embrace In-House Fitness

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – The popularity of health and fitness services is driving many entrepreneurs to start home-based businesses.
For those innovative individuals, Fitbomb, a patented fitness tool, may be the perfect fit.
This “fitness sauna”allows individuals to provide an entire gym’s worth of in-house fitness services easily.
David Shurtleff, a disabled veteran, created FitBomb as an option for those looking to improve athletic performance, enhance their health, or simply reduce the effects of aging.
“It’s like having your own fitness center without the overhead,” says Mr. Shurtleff.
“The FitBomb has everything you need to start a business, providing live video instruction for … martial arts, dance, barre, [and] hot yoga,” he says.
Other benefits include healthy detox and heated massage.
Combining sauna and fitness works by incorporating infrared heat to warm the muscles, thus helping users perform high-intensity resistance exercises with reduced risk of injury.
“Like most gym owners, you don’t even have to be a personal trainer yourself,” says Mr. Shurleff. “Just turn on the Wi-Fi and your choice of training videos instantly appears,” he explains.
As a testament to the potential to enhance your bottom line is Cheryl Murray, a fitness instructor and mother of two who set up a studio in her basement. Within months, she is making $15,000 a month for a combination of fitness training and deep fascia massage services inside the FitBomb.
Other entrepreneurs have taken the studio mobile.
A Canadian team set up a FitBomb in a box truck and promoted it with the slogan, “FitBomb: Explosive Health & Fitness delivered to your door.” They share profits with a small group of personal trainers.
Its appeal lies in its convenience and customization.
Patented features include attachments involving strategically placed “D” rings inside fitness sauna. Users attach exercise bands to these “D” rings to perform a number of exercises. The studio also features stretch bars, pull-up bars and the options to place speed bags, punching bags, and other workout accessories.
The FitBomb is available in a Studio size (7 by 9 feet) and a Solo size (6 feet, 5 inches by 50 inches).
Other special features include touch screen controllers that activate Wi-Fi videos on a TV in each unit. It is handicap-accessible, and also has a Power Access System card designed to activate power to the FitBomb for a pre-determined time and a number of activations that allows easier tracking of user activity.
For more information, visit www.fittsystems.com.

Iconic US Winemaker Toasts Tradition While Embracing Change

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – For those who appreciate wine, it is an art unto itself. After all, great wine comes from all over the world. If, however, you want to remain true to your North American roots, it may be more difficult than you think.
It’s a little known fact that many of the wines sold by US wineries don’t use American-grown grapes exclusively . The exception is CK Mondavi and Family — the first and only wine brand that’s 100 percent “Made in the USA” Certified. This difficult-to-achieve third-party certification means it has undergone a rigorous audit and review process that enables the vintner to say that every single part of the CK Mondavi and Family wine bottle is 100 percent authentically American-made — the grapes, the screw cap, the labels, and even the ink on the labels.
Its commitment to being fully US-made, and to quality grape growing and winemaking practices, render it superior to others at the same price point. This official certification gives consumers the confidence to know that they’re purchasing from a fourth-generation American family that wholeheartedly supports US farmers and businesses.
To understand how CK Mondavi and Family came into its own is to go back almost seventy-five years, when Cesare Mondavi decided to turn surplus grapes from his Midwest grape-shipping business into wine.
That ingenuity started an American wine dynasty. Cesare eventually moved his family to California and purchased his first vineyards. And for the past four generations, the Mondavi family has been making wine.
Today, the winery is run by Marc Mondavi and his family. Marc’s father, Peter Mondavi, Sr., continued his father Cesare’s legacy, and worked at the winery every day, until his passing at the age of 101 last year. Marc and Janice work alongside several of their daughters, as well as other family members, to produce CK Mondavi and Family wines. Some of the family still lives on the original property Cesare and his wife Rosa Mondavi purchased almost 75 years ago.
“It’s not often that a fourth generation is interested in taking over the family business. We are extremely blessed that our family is interested in keeping our tradition alive for years to come,” says Marc.
“For 74 years, our family has been committed to quality grape growing and winemaking practices that simply cannot be found in other wines at this price point. We attribute this to our strong winemaking tradition and family-owned vineyards. You will truly be surprised by the quality of our wines for the price,” he notes.
Even as the family legacy and traditions continue, the winemaker moves forward with environmental consciousness.
Its grapes are 100 percent sourced from California vineyards, utilizing sustainable farming techniques and winemaking practices that are more typical of expensive wines. Their relentless commitment to quality winemaking and hands-on small lot sourcing sets them apart from other value wines. The CK Mondavi and Family portfolio consists of the most popular varieties of wines, and the grapes are grown on the family’s 1,850 acres of vineyards and from California family winegrowers that the Mondavis have had partnerships with for generations.
The new CK Mondavi wines will be available across the US, starting this month.
Find your perfect wine at www.ckmondavi.com/find-wine.

Estate Plans: You’re Not Doing Anyone a Favor by Avoiding the Subject

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Do your kids realize just how much money you’re really worth once all your assets are added up?
If they’re anything like the adult offspring surveyed for Fidelity Investments’ “Family & Finance Study,” the answer is a resounding — and rather scary — “no.” In fact, seven out of 10 of them underestimated their parents’ estate by an average of $278,000.
That’s right, by more than a quarter of a million dollars.
The reason that’s scary — and why it should be a wake-up call for even those with modest estates they hope to pass on to heirs — is simple: It illustrates a breakdown in communications that Kevin Ruth, head of Fidelity’s wealth planning and personal trust, says badly needs addressing through ‘frank conversations” between parents and their adult children.
“Even in the simplest of family situations, conversations that don’t occur frequently and in detail can result in fairly substantial family disagreements and disconnects,” says Ruth. “Establishing an estate plan is your best bet to ensure your loved ones are taken care of in your absence and that your wishes are carried out the way you want.”
In fact, according to the study, the two generations apparently can’t even agree on whether they’ve already had such detailed talks.
Seventy percent of parents surveyed believe they have; more than 50 percent of their children claim they haven’t.
So what are the benefits of an estate plan? Well, among other things, it allows you to:
* Preserve and maintain control over the transfer of your assets.
* Protect your family’s privacy and possibly avoid probate.
* Provide immediate access to liquidity.
* Choose how your beneficiaries will receive assets.
* Designate who’ll execute your wishes even if you’re just incapacitated.
Plus, for those who despise the thought of the government getting any more money than legally required, having a sound estate plan in place could help your heirs avoid needlessly paying certain Federal estate taxes (not to mention state estate and inheritance taxes, depending on local laws).
Ah, but you’re stuck on that $278,000 figure, right?
Actually, given how complicated today’s lives often are — what with stepchildren’s interests to protect, say, and family businesses to pass on — most people, and not just the very wealthy, could do with some solid estate planning. Heck, even distributions from IRAs and Roth IRAs can be tricky if the aim is to “stretch” payments out to beneficiaries, tax-deferred or tax-free, for as long as decades.
Attorneys and tax advisors can help you set up an estate plan, and online resources like Fidelity’s Estate Planning Overview provide a good idea of what’s involved. Fidelity customers also have access to its new Estate Planner to more thoroughly prepare and educate themselves for a meeting, right down to details like organizing documents and choosing lawyers.
As for why parents and their children may be reluctant to discuss the subject, Ruth has an explanation: “It’s human nature to avoid thinking about one’s own mortality.”

Liquid Assets: Water Testing for Household Well Owners A Snap

Easy Well TestingTesting one’s drinking water can be intimidating to a household well owner, but it can be easy if you know a few basic steps, says the National Ground Water Association (NGWA).

If you are concerned about your well water, these three steps can help get owners the appropriate tests for contaminants that might present a health risk — or create taste, odor, or appearance problems:

1. Determine what you should test for in your water.

2. Obtain a reliable water test.

3. Get an interpretation of your test results so you can take any appropriate action.
An excellent place to start learning more about these three steps is the NGWA website,
www.WellOwner.org.